I want to live like a fearless mama octopus

Let me tell you the story of an extraordinary mother. Yes she is an octopus. But her life is both profound and inspiring. O’ Mama’s life is short but produces life long after her death. She is known for her intelligence. Her heart defines her. In fact, she has three. But perhaps her greatest gift is her sacrificial pursuit of her purpose even in the face of failure.

O’ Mama has a unique reproduction process. After her brief encounter with her lover boy, she finds a lair and lays her eggs. Hundreds of thousands of eggs will carry on her legacy. For a month, her soul is poured into nurturing and protecting her eggs, blowing water over them to give them oxygen and guarding them against predators. She hunts nothing, starving herself so that she  never has to leave her young’s sides. Finally, their birthday arrives. Too weak to move, she uses her last ounces of energy to push them from their cases so they can swim off into the world. And then…she dies.You can watch this beautiful sacrificial birthday here from a dive right in Seattle: A mothers ultimate sacrifice from Koos du Preez on Vimeo.

It would be wonderful if these hundreds of thousands of baby octopuses went off and lived happy lives. But the truth is, of 200,000 eggs, just 3 or 5 will actually live long enough to repeat the process. The rest will be eaten up by predators. Well that was a BIG FAILURE. So much for happy endings, huh?

While the ending might not be the happiest for the yummy little babies, the reality is they are feeding generations of critical species. They are the lifelines for eels, turtles, sharks, dolphins, cods and well…me (marinaded please :)). What may seem like a failed mission by O’ Mama actually changes and strengthens her environment long after she is gone.

There have been so many times where I have done everything in my power NOT to be Mama O’, trying not to invest my soul into seemingly failing missions. Why try out for that singing group when I know I am not going to get in? Why apply for that job when I am not qualified? Why look to lead when there is someone much more equipped? But O’ Mama teaches a much more fruitful perspective—that even our failed attempts produce fruit in our lives and the lives of others. Our fleeting ideas, our dead ends, our dreams deferred are not wasted but live lives well beyond what we might be able to fathom. History gives us many human examples of O’ Mama’s faith:

  • Vincent Van Gogh sold ONE PAINTING in his lifetime just a few weeks before his death. This did not stop him from finishing more than 800 paintings.
  • 27 publishers turned down Dr. Seus’ first book.
  • R.H. Macy failed seven times before business started picking up in a little store in New York.

Are you like O’ Mama, pouring your soul  into your ideas, protecting and nurturing them until their birth, irregardless of the  outcome? Or are you killing them off yourself before their birth? What are you doing now simply because it is safe? How could you be feeding your environment with your simple but profound relentless pursuit of your God given fruit?

Now.. Lets go make some babies!

“The birthday of your possibilities is today.” -The one and only Sean D. Goode


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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Awewsome! Inspiriing! Insightful!

  2. 2

    Octopus said,

    Just would like tell you just fabulous & motivative blog..
    really octopus are fearless sea animal??
    wonderful blog..
    thanks


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